Philippians Study: Introduction 4

Studying PhilippiansActs 16 continues to inform our introduction to Philippians. Acts 16:22-30 is important to Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Paul suffered injustice, beating, and imprisonment while he was in Philippi.

When Paul writes to the Philippians the focal point is joy derived from immersion in Christ that enables perseverance in the faith and unity with fellow Christians. A large part of that perseverance is done in the face of persecution. And while Paul was founding the church at Philippi his suffering yielded fruit, a new church. Now when Paul tells the Philippians to persevere as he has done (1:27-30), they will understand.

The United States is a difficult place to suffer, mostly because we can’t tell when we’re suffering and when we should be suffering. The consequences of speaking God’s truth, living under His Word as our ultimate authority, spreading the gospel of Christ as the only Savior and Lord are all things we will be pursecuted for. Do we speak against lying and divorce as well as abortion, gay-marriage? If we are not being pursecuted then we have ample reason to question how rigorous our pursuit of God is. Are we following hard after Jesus Christ? Is our only offense an offense contained in the gospel (as it should be)? Do we read Philippians with a desire and need for the joy in Christ it conveys? Or are we seeking joy from pleasing others and making sure we avoid any pursecution?